Doing Without Adam and Eve: Sociobiology and Original Sin

Doing Without Adam and Eve: Sociobiology and Original Sin

by Patricia A. Williams
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0800632850

ISBN-13: 9780800632854

Pub. Date: 04/28/2001

Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers

In this provocative new addition to the acclaimed series, Patricia Williams assays the doctrine of original sin with a scientific lens and, based on sociobiology, offers an alternative Christian account of human nature's foibles and future.

Focusing on the Genesis 2 and 3 account, Williams shows how its "historical" interpretation in early Christianity not

Overview

In this provocative new addition to the acclaimed series, Patricia Williams assays the doctrine of original sin with a scientific lens and, based on sociobiology, offers an alternative Christian account of human nature's foibles and future.

Focusing on the Genesis 2 and 3 account, Williams shows how its "historical" interpretation in early Christianity not only misread the text but derived an idea of being human profoundly at odds with experience and contemporary science. After gauging Christianity's several competing notions of human nature—Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox—against contemporary biology, Williams turns to sociobiological accounts of the evolution of human dispositions toward reciprocity and limited cooperation as a source of human good and evil. From this vantage point, she offers new interpretations of evil, sin, and the Christian doctrine of atonement.

Williams's work, frank in its assessment of traditional misunderstandings, challenges theologians and all Christians to reassess the roots and branches of this linchpin doctrine.

Author Biography:
Patricia A. Williams taught philosophy at Virginia State University, has authored many scholarly articles on the philosophy of biology, and is co-editor of Evolution and Human Values (1995).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780800632854
Publisher:
Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
Publication date:
04/28/2001
Series:
Theology and the Sciences Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
6.02(w) x 8.95(h) x 0.63(d)

Table of Contents

Prefaceix
Introductionxiii
Part 1The Demise of Adam and Eve
1.Science, Scripture, and Doctrine1
Science and Scripture2
Central Scriptural Doctrines4
Central Theological Doctrines8
Controversial Doctrines10
2.Tests of Truth14
The Interpreter and Canalization15
The Coherence Test21
The Correspondence Test23
The Consilience Test29
3.The Fall31
The Early Church32
Harold Bloom36
A Gnostic Christian38
Augustine40
4.Original Sin48
Calvin and Protestantism49
The Canalization of Evil52
Aquinas and Catholicism55
Athanasius and Orthodoxy58
5.The Demise of Adam and Eve63
Coherence and Genesis 1-364
Correspondence and Genesis 1-966
Consilience in Science70
The Demise of Adam and Eve78
6.Scripture and Truth82
Coherence and the Torah84
Symbolic Truth in Genesis 2 and 389
Correspondence and the Gospels90
The Authority of Scripture96
Part 2The Unification of Science and Christianity
7.The Theory of Evolution103
Coherence and Natural Selection104
Correspondence and Speciation108
Consilience and Human Evolution115
Canalization and Resistance122
8.The Sociobiological Consilience124
The Evolution of Altruism125
Altruism's Legacy130
Reciprocity134
Human Sociality137
9.Original Sin and Sociobiology142
Freedom143
Sin148
Love152
Punishment155
10.The Problem of Evil159
A Developing Universe159
Locating Ourselves164
Locating Evil168
Solving the Problem176
11.The Atonment180
Four Difficulties181
Jesus and Sin185
Suffering and Death192
Atonement Now196
Conclusion199
Glossary203
References209
Index220

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